Film tomography as a tool for three-dimensional image construction and gene expression studies

Masayuki Mitsumori, Taro Adachi, Kazuho Takayanagi, Taro Mito, Hideyo Ohuchi, Shouichi Kimura, Mitsunori Kokubo, Toshiro Higuchi, Sumihare Noji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In order to observe three-dimensional (3D) expression patterns of genes in whole animals, whole organs, or whole tissues, in situ hybridization (ISH) of many sections must be carried out and then used to construct a 3D image. For this purpose, we have developed an automatic microtome to prepare tissue sections with an adhesive film. We used commercially available film suitable for sectioning and ISH. We constructed a microtome and, after adherence of the film to a paraffin-embedded tissue block, cut the block with a blade to prepare sections on film. Then, the sections-on-film were automatically set in a plastic frame that was the same size as a conventional glass slide. With this automatic microtome, tissue sections can be made for ISH or immunohistochemistry in addition to conventional hematoxylin and eosin staining without specific training. We demonstrate that we can construct 3D images of gene expression patterns obtained by ISH on sections prepared with this automatic microtome. We have designated this method as 'Film Tomography (FITO)'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopment Growth and Differentiation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D images
  • Adhesive film
  • Automatic microtome
  • Film tomography
  • In situ hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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